ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
People travel on a train in central Pyongyang in April.   © Reuters

North Korea feeling tighter squeeze from sanctions

Pyongyang rushes to tackle foreign currency shortage

SOTARO SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writer | North Korea

SEOUL -- More signs have emerged that North Korea is feeling the effects of sanctions imposed by the international community -- gasoline prices have soared, and the country is moving to fight its foreign currency shortage stemming from trade restrictions.

North Korea's cellphone imports have jumped, a source at the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency said Tuesday. Pyongyang apparently uses cellphone sales to obtain foreign currency held by wealthy citizens. It is able to pocket foreign currency via importing cellphones from China for $100 each and reselling them for $300 on the country's black markets, which are called jangmadang.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more